The Sydney gazette and New South Wales advertiser/Saturday 1 June 1839/The Colonial Slanderer–John Lhotsky

The Colonial Slanderer–John Lhotsky
The Sydney gazette and New South Wales advertiser
Saturday 1 June 1839,


(From The Colonial Times, May 14.)

We have, on more occasions than one, had cause to notice the slanders, which have been heaped upon this Colony, as well as New South Wales, by a portion of the English Press; and we have done so, not so much for the purpose of vindication, as for that of neutralizing the poison, which has been thus maliciously poured forth. We have, now, the means, in pursuance of this object, of exposing, to general execration and disgust, the base, cowardly, and ungrateful SLANDERER, who exists in the person of the self-styled and notorious DOCTOR LHOTSKY", once of Sydney, and formerly of this town. Some, perhaps, may imagine, that, in thus acting, we are imbuing this impostor with more importance, than is necessary; but we think differently; because the channels, which he has selected, and most miraculously obtained, for the circulation of his slanders, are neither mean nor obscure, and it is, on this account, that we shall devote a short space to the uncloaking of this bad-hearted man, that the British public may know to what extent his statements may be credited, and relied upon.

It is well known, here, that John Lhotsky came to this Colony from Sydney, because the latter place had become too hot for him; in fact he stole away from his creditors; and, being a man of some glibness of tongue (as all German mountebanks are) and of the most consummate impudence, he imposed himself upon the Government, as a mineralogist, and obtained employment as an Inspector of the Coal Mines at Port Arthur. Thither, therefore, he betook himself, but the deficiencies of his mineralogical capabilities were soon detected, and he was, at once, discharged. While he was at the mines, he procured by the aid of the prisoners sundry "curiosities," consisting chiefly of a few minerals, some petrifactions, and some zoological specimens, which, in the aggregate, he dignified by the appellation of a museum, and offered to the Government for sale, for the very modest and adequate sum of £150! The offer was rejected, but determined to turn this museum, as it was called, to some good account, the Collector proposed to part with it for the same price to be raised by subscription. A subscription was consequently set on foot, and many persons, noting under the impulse of that benevolent spirit which is so prevalent in these slandered Colonies, contributed liberally on the occasion. Be it observed, however, that the ostensible object of Mynheer John Lhotsky was to return to Ins native land by means of this subscription. In the midst, however, of its collection the scientific collector fell sick, and we mention this for the purpose of merely stating that, even now, in his sickness, want, and desolation, this slanderer–this bad-hearted and most ungrateful man, was absolutely supported by (he charity of that community which he has so ungenerously and unjustly vilified. Now, let the British public think only of this simple fact: this man was absolutely sent home by the kindness of the Colonists, in return for which he heaps upon them abuse and vilification. Knowing the worth and standing of the persons upon whom Lhotsky has imposed in England, we were at first surprized at the circumstance; but knowing, also, the eagerness with which new matters relating to these Colonies are received and promulgated, our surprise ceased, and merged into indignation against the ungrateful slanderer. Still we must think that no persons connected with the Press should venture, upon the unauthenticated statements of a stranger, to denounce whole communities,–especially when they appertain to the Colonies.